January 7, 2009
Staff Picks: Two "How" career/life books that deserve a shout out
"Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) lists the first, second, and third definitions of the adverb how as follows: '1a: in what matter or way b: for what reason: why c: with what meaning: to what effect.' [...] Above all, this is a book about how to become a happier person, supplying you a road map--a dozen happiness-increasing strategies--for the matter or way to get there and for how to choose the strategies that fit you best" (5).One of the reasons I am drawn to this particular happiness book is that I opened it to a random chapter and found one of Lyubomirsky's "Happiness Activities"--Activity No. 8: Increasing Flow Experiences. She introduces and explains Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi's concept of "flow," made famous in his seminal work Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time, by the way!). Lyubomirsky's attention to Flow is part of a chapter called Living in the Present, in which she "describe[s] two strategies that promote living in the present, flowing and savoring. Both are states of mind associated with positive emotions and well-being." She claims that "putting them into practice is one way that you can overcome your genes and life circumstances and take a step toward transforming yourself into a happier person..." With chapters on "Investing in Social Connections," "Committing to Your Goals," and "Taking Care of Your Body and Your Soul" (and more), The How of Happiness is truly one of the more action-oriented books I've seen on the subject of attaining happiness.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.